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Flintridge Sacred Heart volleyball can't overcome Harvard-Westlake obstacle

Volleyball: Tologs are swept by rival Wolverines in key Mission League match.

October 08, 2013|By Andrew J. Campa, andrew.campa@latimes.com

NORTH HOLLYWOOD — Perhaps it’s not an understatement to say that the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy girls’ volleyball team ran into its biggest impediment toward a Mission League championship at host Harvard-Westlake.

While the Wolverines’ tall frontline presented several issues for the Tologs, maybe no obstacle was bigger than the “mental road block” Flintridge Sacred Heart seems incapable of overcoming as was evident in a 25-21, 25-13, 25-18 league sweep for Harvard-Westlake on Tuesday evening.

“I don’t want to take anything away from Harvard-Westlake because they are a very talented team. They really do deserve credit for today’s win,” said Tologs Coach Ernest Banaag, whose team dropped to 0-3 versus the Wolverines during his tenure. “Sooner or later, though, we’re going to have to realize that we can compete with this team. It’s like we’re scared or intimidated and you’re not going to win games when you’re afraid of the team you’re playing.”

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Flintridge Sacred Heart (9-3 overall, 1-1 in league) entered as the highest-ranked team within the Mission League, which was good for No. 7 in Division I-A, or three spots ahead of the Wolverines (6-6, 3-0), who are currently tied for 10th with Capistrano Valley.

Yet, the Tologs struggled to be competitive throughout the contest, with their best charge coming in the opening game.

The Tologs trailed, 9-5, in the first game before a 5-2 run, fueled by a pair of kills from senior opposite Katie Conley, brought the squad within 11-10.

While Harvard-Westlake responded with a 6-2 spurt, Flintridge Sacred Heart again battled back and closed within 18-16 on consecutive aces from junior Sophia Coffey (29 assists).

The score fluctuated between two and three points until the Wolverines surged ahead with a kill from Nicole El Attrache and a Tologs attacking error to reach game-point, 24-20.

Even though the Tologs countered with a kill from sophomore opposite Ali McCollum, Harvard-Westlake closed out on the next possession thanks to a kill from Jo Kremer, who finished with a match-high 10 kills.

“It seemed like every time we’d get close, they would go on a run and we couldn’t stop them,” said Conley, who led the Tologs with eight kills. “I can’t believe how lazy and bad we played. It’s disappointing.”

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